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The Iron Duke (Iron Seas Series #1)

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas Series #1) - My Rating: 4.0 Me and steampunk don't mix. I don't like it and it sure doesn't like me. I've never, ever, finished a single steampunk book without skimming it. When I heard of The Iron Duke through one of my friends, and that it was steampunk novel, my first thought was oh no, should I even bother to try it? To my surprise, I really enjoyed The Iron Duke, all the steampunk aspects of it, and its brilliant fantasy world. I loved all the characters in The Iron Duke. Mina was strong, smart, and knows exactly what she wants. There's no possible way you won't like her. I understood her fear, her horror, and her insecurities relating with the Horde and her conflicting feelings for Rhys. At first, I thought Rhys was going to be one of those dictator kind of characters, the ones who takes anything they like by brutal force and won't care about crushing the people who stood in their way (because the summary hints of that), but no, he is different. He's a captain who truly cares about his people and is willing to give up a lot for them. The only thing I don't approve of is his view on needs and possessions. Hopefully that will change, now that he has Mina by his side. The world-building in The Iron Duke was fascinating. Everything was explained - who the bounders and buggers are, why the buggers fear the Horde, what nanoagents do, and even why the zombies exist (believe me, most of the zombie books I've read so far didn't bother explaining that one). And the thing is, all the explanations fit neatly into the storyline. Unlike other books I've read, The Iron Duke gives little glimpses into the world of the Horde when appropriate, not long detailed paragraphs full of information. I've never read a book that went into such detail about their world without boring me to death. I can easily say that Meljean Brook knows how to write and engage the reader. Many people who've read The Iron Duke say that romance plays a huge part in the book, but I don't agree. In my opinion, romance is just in half of the book, not the main focus. Despite that, the romantic scenes were nicely executed, a lot better than most of the historical romances I've read. I will definitely be reading Heart of Steel, the next book in the Iron Seas series. I heard it's Yasmeen's story. I want to learn more about her and her past. How did she become the Yasmeen here today that's insecure and doesn't trust anyone? ohdamnbooks: the iron duke